The Region of Kosovo – Albania received a divine Grace and a heavenly Blessing from January 30 to February 3, through the visit of our general superiors Tomaž Mavrič, CM, Superior of the Congregation of the Mission, Sister Kathleen Appler, DC, Superioress General, Sister Hanna Cybula, DC, General Councillor, Nicola Albanesi, CM Provincial of the Province of Italy, Sister Francka Saje, DC Visitatrix of the Province of Slovenia and Giuseppe Carruli, CM from Rome.
For the entire Vincentian family of Kosovo – Albania this was not only a visit, but a great celebration of the unity and joy for the life of that the Vincentian Charism gives us, that for more than for 400 years embraced the world, heals its wounds, nourishes poverty, gives shape to its growth. The general superiors first visited the Cathedral of Prishtina dedicated to St. Teresa of Calcutta, our Albanian daughter, Mother Teresa. This Eucharistic table brought together all the Vincentian Family members, the Vincentian Fathers, the Daughters of Charity, Vincentian Marian Youth and many collaborators. The Mass was celebrated by Mons. Dodë Gjergji, while Tomaž Mavrič, CM did the homily.
Father Tomaž praised every initiative undertaken for the 400th anniversary and gladly invited all Vincentian Family members to collaborate on two initiatives: the Vincentian Family Global Initiative on Homelessness and the Vincentian Film Festival, Finding Vince 400 (FV400), to be held in Castel Gandolfo
After the Mass, the Superior General together with the Vincentian Fathers and Daughters of Charity were warmly & creatively welcomed by the sisters’ community of Prishtina and the VMY. After dinner Sisters Kathleen Appler and Hanna Cybula went to Prishtina airport to travel to Peja.
The next day, January 31, Sister Kathleen had the opportunity to encourage all sisters serving in Kosovo in her conference. She invited us to ask ourselves, “What is the Lord seeking to revive at this time in our daily lives?” Some sisters shared what they felt with simplicity and joy.
On the early morning of February 1st, they traveled to Shkodra. They were warmly welcomed by all the sisters serving in Albania, the Vincentian Fathers, a group of VMY and by children who performed a traditional dance. This sacred and precious visit to us is a grace that today we continue to breathe in the breath of our beloved founders. Father Tomaž invited young people to know their vocation and not be afraid to answer YES to the call of Jesus that gives meaning to life and endures with happiness.
During the Mass in Gruda, suddenly while reading God’s Word, a 14-year-old girl, a member of the VMY from Shkodra, did not feel well and fell down from a cardiac attack. We sent her to the hospital where, despite all medical efforts, the girl was delivered into the hands of the Blessed Virgin. The whole Vincentian family was shaken by this, but the life of this young girl, filled with faith and full of wisdom, made us reflect on the fact that she may be, in the future, an example of holiness for our great family. Together with the general superiors, they went to express their condolences to Lori’s family and to ask for her as an angel from Heaven to mediate for the Vincentian Family.
As very good occasion to assess our belonging to the Mother Church the general superiors met with the apostolic nuncio, Mgr. Charles John Brown, who happily welcomed them.
With great joy we can say: blessed be our Lord for the visit of our superiors general.